Dedicated to Benfica cultural universe and membership, this area allows you to explore the several compartments of the exhibition’s cabinet. A surprising experience altogether.
Benfica has got their place in every cultural universe, from arts and literature to cinema, bullfighting and philately. The Club launched its own newspaper in 1913, a pioneer in the kind, and a promise that other ventures would come. Time gave wings to new dreams: the first Trophy Room in 1934, Sport Lisboa e Saudade (the veterans’ team) in 1943, the Orfeão (choral group) in 1957, and many others, all the way to the modern television channel which today carries the Club’s news across the globe. In this space you’ll meet this other “Eagle”, an “Eagle” of words, sounds, and images. An “Eagle” of other ventures.
Area 17. SACRED GROUNDS – Territory and heritage
Throughout its history, Benfica met several facilities and wandered around the city for many years without a stronghold. This area shows you objects that represent such places as well as events associated to them.
One cannot separate the Club’s memory from the memory of the city where the Club shaped its territory and patrimony over more than one hundred years. For half a century that was a true story of travelling players who wandered around the capital until they finally settled in the current stronghold. The Club head offices and other facilities and recreational areas have visited many different locations too. After Belém, where the Club was born and where the team played their first matches they moved to Benfica, downtown Lisbon, Sete Rios, Amoreiras, Campo Grande and, finally, Benfica once more. “Sacred grounds” covers all of this heroic journey.
Area 18. “E PLURIBUS UNUM” – Cosme Damião
Cosme Damião has the main role in this area but like himself, many other personalities such as Manuel Gourlade and Félix Bermudes, deserve a part in the history of Benfica’s early days.
Player, captain, manager, director: Cosme Damião was everything there was to be in Benfica! An early 20th century sportsman, he became the soul of a Club that was born in poverty and grew up on the backs of men to whom dreams commanded life. And these dreams did unite people like himself: Félix Bermudes and Manuel Gourlade, among others, gathered around the idea of building the greatest club in Portuguese history. A tribute to the man and to the athlete who best represents the “Reds’” spirit. Without ever forgetting those who joined him in that mission of raising that flag.
Area 19. THE CLUB’S FOREIGN LEGIONS – Footballers from abroad
Until 1979 Benfica squad was formed with Portuguese players only. But since then, several foreign players joined the Club. This is the area where you can meet them all.
Until 1979 one could not imagine a space such as this one in Benfica Museum. To wear the “Eagle” across the heart was a privilege reserved to Portuguese athletes alone. It all changed with a Brazilian named Jorge Gomes, who wore the sacred vest that year, the year of the Club’s Diamond Jubilee. After him came Swedes, Danish and other players from all around the world, about forty nationalities up to today. Many of them helped write some of the most brilliant pages in our history and conquered their eternity in every supporters’ hearts. This is the just tribute to the “Eagles” from across the world!
Area 20. OUTSTANDING EAGLES – Captains, top scorers, players with international appearances
This is an area dedicated to Benfica top scorers, captains and Portuguese and foreign players with international appearances.
To wear the captain’s armband, become the top scorer or represent the National Team; these are the greatest honours reserved for any football player. Captains Mário Coluna, Humberto Coelho, and António Veloso; top scorers Eusébio, José Águas, and Nené; the international players Rui Costa, Simão Sabrosa, and João Pinto: all of them fated to greatness! They are all-time leaders in their categories. How did they reach their reference status among the supporters? The stories, the figures, the pictures and unique objects which document the lives and careers of these “Outstanding Eagles”.
Area 21. MY ELEVEN – All-time favourites
All of the players who worn Benfica’s jersey are available in an interactive platform. You only have to choose your dream team.
What would Benfica become of if Vítor Silva, Eusébio and Chalana could play side-by-side? What would happen if we could play with the greatest names along with other less notorious but by far funnier names which populate Benfica supporters’ imagination: Mendes “Pé Canhão” (“Cannon Foot”), Barros “Barbudo” (“Bearded”), “Folha das Cambalhotas” (“Backflip Folha”),... They can all play in “My Eleven”! Your idols are waiting in this “timeless selection” too. You control the pick, and your choices will be ranked automatically to uncover the best eleven. Designed to appeal to the football manager that lives inside every one of us...
Area 22. EAGLES FROM THE HEART – Players’ album
You can meet every single football player who represented Benfica accessing our digital encyclopedia.
Since the very day the Club was born, since the very first training session in which ten players took part, over one thousand players have worn Benfica’s colours! Nené is the one with the most appearances with the “Eagle” across the heart, so he leads the “book” of athletes who represented Benfica. The seasons in which they played, the matches they participated in, the goals they scored. Everyone is here, from the grandest star to the unknown player. This is a tribute to everyone who contributed to make Benfica a symbol of strength, union and belief. To everyone who helped to fulfil Benfica’s emblem!
Area 23. UNFORGETTABLE – Benfica’s football stars
A spinning wheel allows you to know all about Benfica football stars.
This is where you will get to know the greatest football players who represented Benfica: Vítor Silva in the ’30s, Rogério in the ’40s, Águas in the ’50s, and many, many others who compose an unmatchable Hall of Fame! These heroes do not belong to Benfica alone. They are Portuguese football legends that left an inerasable trail of magic inside and outside our borders. “Unforgettable” is a journey through this world of stars and its splendour. Here is a way to honour these football poets.
Area 24. THE “BLACK PANTHER” AND OTHER LEGENDS – Eusébio
Eusébio, the “Black Panther” and several other legends are the main characters in this area. You can see objects that belonged to these idols, and you can also watch and hear Eusébio and his teammates in a hologram.
“When Eusébio was around, Eusébio was all around!” was historic journalist Carlos Pinhão’s description of the influence the “King” had in its time as a player. Magical, mythical, sensational! An athlete who gave Benfica and Portuguese football an unrepeatable notoriety. This is his space and where along with other legends they will uncover the veil of memory. No spectator has ever been this close to him. An intimate encounter with the best Portuguese player of all times, along with other faces who also inscribed their names in the golden book of world football.
Area 25. MASTERMINDING VICTORY ON THE FIELD – Managers
Until today, Benfica had 48 managers: 23 were Portuguese while 25 were foreigners. This area is a tribute to them.
Upon his arrival to retake the spot as manager in 1979, renowned Mário Wilson used a sentence that we still remember today: “Any Benfica manager risks becoming champion”. From pioneer Manuel Gourlade, the Club has had tenths of managers, and most of them have confirmed this saying by the “Great Captain”. Beginning with the Lisbon Championships won by Cosme Damião, passing through Béla Guttmann’s European titles of and ending with Jimmy Hagan’s National conquests, Benfica’s patrimony is in great debt to these “masterminds” who have taken their chances for over a century, and reaped the rewards for their stubbornness!
Area 26. BENFICA AROUND THE WORLD – Tours and popularity
This area will show you how Benfica started its world odyssey. Presenting the number of its fans, pictures of its Houses and Branches, places where the team played, and objects brought from all of five continents. Proofs of its popularity are the three magnificent trophies that Benfica won through a public voting system.
The first international tour happened in 1912 (A Coruña, Spain) and it set the beginning for a world odyssey through which Benfica carried the name of Portugal to dozens of countries in every continent. That epic odyssey is documented by a collection of remarkable memories which reveal a truly captivating Club whose achievements as well as the passion and strength from our fans have given us a unique charisma. Benfica is also popularity champion, a title awarded in several fronts. The monumental trophies shown here, Ramos Pinto, Simpatia and Época are the true evidence of this fact.
Area 27. GRANDEST AWARDS – Honourable distinctions
Here are the symbols of the public recognition given to the Club: 11 honourable distinctions to reward its commitment for the development and valorization of sports, solidarity and charity services, and its role as an ambassador, honouring the country abroad.
Benfica has been honoured ten times with various awards since 1932 when the Club’s services to Portuguese sport granted it the distinction of Commander of the Military Order of Christ. The commitment to the valorisation and expansion of the physical culture, educational actions, contributes to tighten relations between peoples, services provided in solidarity and charity actions, achievements honouring the Nation abroad, and the general contribution to the development of sports have been publicly recognised throughout time. To admire, acknowledge and be proud of.
Area 28. MEN AT THE HELM – Presidents
This area is dedicated to the 33 presidents who directed the Club’s centery-old history.
Portuguese society has always paid a close attention to Benfica’s leadership. The Club’s elections stir up the Nation, easily becoming national events just as our Presidents become public figures. Our members have always directed the Club, an achievement our supporters have always been proud of (after 1964, ten years before democracy was re-established, it was common to have more than one candidate to presidency). To the memory of all those who captained the “red ship” into the future...